I am part of this page on Facebook called Philly Social Media Moms (as a SMIT, or Stepmother in Training, I was allowed in!) Anyway, this post last night jumped off at me. It said:
Hello ladies! One of my dear friends was just diagnosed with breast cancer & she has been nursing her infant daughter. She had to start “emergency weaning” and is in need of donor milk. I know many of you have connections with the breastfeeding community. If you know of any groups that might be interested in helping, could you contact me? Thanks so much!
O.k. so I have no experience with the whole breast milk thing because I was never able to bear a child even before the breast cancer and treatment of it all, but the “just diagnosed” grabbed me.
So I went hunting for this woman’s blog. I found it after I found her business website. It’s called Tales of a Tattoo Mom . And I found a post I would like to share:
guess now this blog should be called Tales of a Tattoo Mom with an extremely aggressive, invasive breast cancer. A biopsy came back the other day, and it says that it’s aggressive invasive ductal breast cancer poorly differentiated. I’ll post the pathology for you to see.
I’ll share this with every one. I can’t do this alone.
My lactating is coming to an end. As I type I have cabbage leaves on my engorged breasts in hopes to slow the milk production. Unfortunately the hormones that cause breast feeding might feed the cancer. I didn’t believe that at first. I wanted to breast feed my little girl until she was old enough to lift my shirt and suckle on her own if she wished to do so. I wanted her to self wean when she was ready, but everything has changed. Now I can only hope to be around when she’s that age.
I’m reaching out to lactating mom’s out there to acquire donor milk, and so far it’s working. South Jersey/Philadelphia has an amazing network of breast feeding women. Social media has helped ia greatly especially in the birthing, breast feeding, and babies Facebook group. Thank you, wholeheartedly.
We now have our own Facebook page called, Human Milk for Joslyn. Please add if you want to help even if it isn’t donating milk. We are looking for people who can be couriers, supply sterile bags, or even bake oatmeal cookies for gals to build up their supply.
We also have a group on http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com and Team Tegan. Soon enough we’ll be putting duties up there you can sign up for. We’ll need sitters, drivers for rides, people to cook meals, clean, do errands, walk our dogs. If anyone does healing services and wants to donate time, there’s a massage table at the house already. Prayer chains are welcomed with open hands.
We’re also accepting monetary donations. I’m unsure how much I’ll be able to work through this time, and we depend highly on my income for our bills and rent. Because I’m self employed, I’m not eligible for any government assistance. There will be benefits held in MA, NJ and possibly Fl and Philly. Also we’re accepting Paypal donations via my website, http://www.teganink.com. In addition to that you can join our human tribe. It’s a necklace with a ‘T’ on it.
Breastfeeding I have no experience in, but feeling the room spin when you get a breast cancer diagnosis? That I know all too well.
There but for the grace of God (go I).
Wow. This really hit me. And I can feel how she is swirling. As a stepmother in training, when I was going through treatment after my surgery, I felt that very human desire to see my boy grow up. Even if he wasn’t technically mine, he is still part of my heart. So I get this, and can’t even *imagine* what it is like when a mother like this with wee ones has to face breast cancer.
I don’t know this woman Tegan Beyer at all, wouldn’t know her if we crossed paths on the street. But I can tell you, I get the whole how-are-we-going-to-pay-for-it-how-are-we-going-to-do-this….heck I am still paying for it (the radiation treatments) thanks to Lankenau screwing up my billing for a year.
This woman needs her friends to Driving Miss Daisy her. As my regular readers know, my friends did that for me this time last year. They took the list making out of my hands, and the errand running, etc. They made me cede control and concentrate on getting well and it made all the difference.
Of course reading about something like this also raises for a brief moment the “what if it comes back” boogeyman in my head. As I sit here typing on a rainy day, I am so grateful for my life, my friends, my sweet man, but still…once in a while in the deep quiet, I fear. That occasional fear is another reason why I need to learn to filter and sometimes tune out cancer horror stories – that sounds awful and it sounds selfish, but to an extent I think for a survivor it is self-preservation.
With this beast called breast cancer you need to learn to separate the sympathy from the whole empath of it all. Right now, when I hear a new recounting of someone else yet again with cancer, I almost feel it a little too sharply for lack of a better description. I am only a year out, after all. I don’t let that sharp felling bog me down, but I still feel it. As time passes, hopefully I won’t feel it so vibrantly.
So Tegan Beyer, here is a wish and a prayer coming your way. I don’t know you, will probably never meet you, but I get where you are going….since I did a version of your journey. Stay positive. Stay strong. Love.
I am so glad to be on the other side of breast cancer. I hate to say it like that, but looking back, there are some days I do not know how I did it. And I don’t want it again. Ever.
Sign me so over cancer.
Sending peace and love out to you all. If you would like to help Tegan, find her via her blog Tales of a Tattoo Mom and Tegan Beyer: Tattoo Artist on Facebook.
Thanks for pointing out, Tegan – that spinning feeling you described is so bang-on. The whole world starts swirling. I love your concept of ‘driving miss daisy’ – there are times when friends and family need to sweep in, and it’s an incredible save.
thanks for sharing. i had to stop breast feed as an emergency as well. i’ll send her a note. oyyayoy. when are we going to stop hearing about these stories!!